Mike Conrad is a composer, improviser, and teacher from Bettendorf, Iowa. As a performer, he has toured China, played at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, and appeared at various jazz festivals and venues all over the United States. Conrad has enjoyed playing piano in ensembles like the Alexa Tarantino Quintet, Dave Chisholm’s Calligraphy, Christopher’s Very Happy. Band., and the Mike Conrad Trio. Equally accomplished on both trombone and piano, Conrad truly loves collaborating with other musicians, and always brings his creativity and expressiveness to every performance he gives and every composition that he writes.
Mike Conrad has been recognized for his arranging and composing with four ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards and seven DownBeat Awards, as well as awards and commissions from organizations like the Bundesjazzorchester of Germany, the West Point Jazz Knights, and the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers. Conrad’s arrangements have been performed all around the world, including a 2014 premiere at Carnegie Hall, and a performance at the US Presidential Inauguration in 2013. Some recent career highlights include his participation in the 2017 Metropole Orchestra Arrangers Workshop with Vince Mendoza, and winning 2nd Prize in the “Spheres Of A Genius” composition competition through the Vienna Radio Symphony.
From 2013 to 2015, Conrad was the Head Band Director at West High School in Waterloo, Iowa where he directed the Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensembles and taught Music Theory and Jazz Improvisation. He has also led his own large jazz ensemble called COLOSSUS and released an album of original music featuring Alex Sipiagin with his 15-piece group, the All Angles Orchestra. Conrad is in high demand as a clinician and guest director for jazz bands, and he continues to come up with fresh and exciting works for a wide variety of ensembles. Many of his compositions and arrangements are published by UNC Jazz Press, ejazzlines, and his own website, www.mconradmusic.com.
Dr. Conrad earned degrees from the University Northern Iowa (BM and BME), the Eastman School of Music (MM), and the University of Northern Colorado (DA). It is with immense pleasure that the UNI Jazz Studies Division welcomes Dr. Michael Conrad back to campus as Assistant Professor of Jazz and Music Education.